Boccia England

News

2017-2018 Highlights

As we finalise our annual report and accounts, we took a look at the year gone by and what we achieved. We are proud and delighted to say that great progress has been made against our mission.

Highlights include:

  • 4.4% increase in participation
  • 730 people trained across 59 courses
  • Achieving advanced level of CPSU Safeguarding standards
  • Increasing our reach via social media
  • Establishing the Skills Award, engaging with 240 young people
  • Implementing a UK-wide player pathway with Boccia UK

Check out our infographic summary of 2017-18 here.

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Hundreds celebrate National Boccia Day 2018

Hundreds of people joined in with National Boccia Day on Thursday 27th September. Boccia clubs, schools, businesses and charities celebrated Boccia through a range of boccia fests and activities.

We weren’t able to include all of the fantastic activities here but Boccia England would like to thank each and everyone of you who got involved on the day and promoted our fantastic sport.

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Leeds IM Boccia Club got the day off to a fantastic start with a boccia fest including our youngest National Boccia Day supporter.

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Irwin Mitchell offices across the country took part in lunch time boccia sessions.

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Sheffield Smashers celebrated all the reasons they loved boccia throughout the day.

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Victoria Boccia Club and Livability Victoria Education Centre took part in activities throughout the day.

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More Boccia fests were held by Sports Able, YMCA Surrey, The Brain Charity and Wandsworth School Games.

Throughout the day players, coaches and supporters of Boccia also took to social media to tell the world why they love the sport. We have included some of the fantastic reasons here.

“I love Boccia because it gives me the opportunities to compete at the top level on equal terms with my opponents. It has also shaped who I am as a person by improving my independence, my work ethic and my self-awareness. Without Boccia I wouldn’t have met my Wife.”
David Smith, BC1 Paralympic and World Champion.

“I love boccia because it enables me to compete in a game I love and socialise with friends”
Debbie Carlsberg, Boccia Player.

“I love Boccia because it is a true inclusive sport, anyone can play it whatever their age and ability”
Viviene Lathbury, Boccia Volunteer.

“I love boccia because it has given me opportunities I never thought I would get to experience. It has made me into the coach I am today, allowed me to represent my country in Russia with an awesome England squad. I have met some amazing people and above all else met my best friends”
Rio Jade, Boccia Coach.

“I love Boccia because it’s helped to stabilise my son’s DMD, it’s allowed him to achieve and for us to travel to many Countries and meet many people from around the World who have become very good friends. Boccia is my life, my passion.”
Michelle Thompson, Boccia Parent.

Planning for National Boccia Day 2019 is already underway with plans for a new social media campaign, a National Boccia Day challenge and a pack of freebies for those getting involved. The day will be held on Friday 27th September 2019. Look out for the launch of National Boccia Day 2019 in the spring.

Scottish Open Championships 2018

England’s finest BC1, 2 and 3 Boccia athletes met their Scottish, Welsh and Irish counterparts at the weekend at a new and exciting individuals competition run by Mark Gaffney and his team at Scottish Disability Sport.

A squad of six travelled from all over the nation to fly the St George flag during the day-long event Edinburgh’s Engage Centre. Lewis Fisher and Lee Maddison came from just over the border in the Newcastle area; Rich Amos from the midlands, Reshad Saraj from London and Jabe Peake, Tia Ruel and Matt Berry came from the south and south east regions.
Keen to start the new season off with successes in the BC1,2 & 3 categories our EPG representatives were there looking smart and ready to go in their navy blue kit at 7.45am. So ready were they, in fact, that they arrived and formed an orderly queue outside - even before the building was open!

Once inside, the day began promisingly for our BC3s as Amos, Berry, Fisher and Maddison were first on. And if that first round of this well-run competition is anything to go by it’s going to be a great year of Boccia for England as all four athletes were on consecutive courts at the same time, taking a line of wins 15-0, 10-1, 16-0, 13-1 respectively.

Carrying on the winning streak, Peake and Saraj went upbeaten throughout the day in three matches a piece to secure gold in their BC1 and BC2 round robin events. Both are pleased with topping their groups – and international titles - and hope to maintain the momentum throughout the season.

It was an out of sorts day or Ruel, one of five females at the competition, who struggled with a few equipment issues on the day that will most certainly be mended by the next competitive fixture.

Busy as ever in the BC3s, our lads were split into two groups that brought equal amounts of highs and lows. Maddison and Amos just missed out on group qualification with Berry and Fisher performing immaculately to top their pools. They went on to the play-offs where they won gold and bronze respectively in exciting ball-for-ball matches against the likes of GB’s Patrick Wilson.

Boccia England’s Talent Manager Matt Kendrick, who flew to Edinburgh to be a part of the squad’s support team, said: "Great to see such strong performances across all of our represented classes early in the season. The athletes showed their class against the home country and Boccia UK opposition to take several medals. This will set the athletes up will for the coming season and I look forward to them continuing this momentum in the upcoming domestic competition Pathway."

Mark Gaffney, Opportunities and Events Manager, Scottish Disability Sport, who engineered the Invitational following a disappointing cancellation of the Scottish Open, was pleased with this replacement event:
“We put together a packed programme so thank you to you all – players, coaches, supporters, parents – for making it a great day. There was some fine play on the courts today and it was fantastic to see you all. We look forward to welcoming you to the teams and pairs competition next year.”

Photos of the event can be found here

Recruitment of volunteer competition review champions

We need YOU to help us improve our competitions!

We know that competition is important to our members and players. Findings from our members survey show players are motivated by winning, being with friends, and feeling like they are improving.

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We want to make sure that the competitions we provide are the best they can be, so this season Boccia England will be undertaking an in-depth review of our competitions to consider areas for improvement. During the consultation process we want to gather feedback, ideas and suggestions from all those involved in boccia and boccia competitions whether they are a player (who competes regularly or who is yet to take part in a competition), coaches, officials, parents and carers, and other key stakeholders. We will be reviewing the competitions we run, which include:

  • Heathcoat Cup

  • The BE Cup

  • The National League

  • The Super League

  • Teams and Pairs

  • Schools competition (in conjunction with the Lord’s Taverners)

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We also want to capture what people love about boccia competitions they take part in at a local level outside of our competitions.

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To enable us to gather as much feedback as possible, we are recruiting a number of individuals as Volunteer Competition Review Champions. These champions will help us to reach more people at a local level, encouraging them to feed in to the consultation process. You will help to stimulate discussion within our review forum (to be hosted on Boccia England’s Facebook page), signpost people to the online survey (available in November), and encourage people to share their thoughts through the consultation process.

If you would like to be considered as a volunteer competition review champion, please download the role description and complete the online expression of interest form. The deadline for submitting your interest is Sunday 21st October.

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Membership Season 2018/19 is now open!

Over the summer we have been busy working on our new membership & events portal- Boccia Base! This new platform is now live and members new and existing can now buy membership for the new season: 1 October 2018- 30 September 2019. Membership fees and benefits remain the same as last season.

Club Individual membership can only be purchased by the club lead, please contact your club lead if you wish to renew/purchase your club individual membership at £5 per person.

Login/Register here

The staff team here at Boccia England are all very excited about Boccia Base and you should be too! The new platform will be easier for you to use, whether you have a basic profile in order to receive our newsletter or are a full member booking on to events.

Boccia Base will allow you to update yours and any of your elected individuals’ details, plus you can manage your qualifications, classifications and volunteering roles, allowing all your boccia information to be in one place and easily accessible and manageable.

In addition, we will be launching the events module of Boccia Base on Monday 8th October so those of you wanting to register for the competitions can do so then.

There will be a period of adjustment and learning with Boccia Base and we really appreciate your patience over the next few weeks. The Platform has a support feature with handy FAQs and self help guides so please use this feature which, if it doesn’t answer your query, will send us an email to look into the query for you.

NATIONAL BOCCIA DAY ORGANISED BY BOCCIA ENGLAND

Boccia England are hosting National Boccia Day which will take place at sports clubs, community centres and schools up and down the country on Thursday 27th September.

On National Boccia Day people are encouraged to get in touch with Boccia England and their local Boccia club to learn more about getting involved in this Paralympicsport.

The Boccia World Championships were recently held in Liverpool and the event was a great success with more people than ever before coming along to spectate.

This National Boccia Day, Boccia England, are hoping to build on the World Championships and continue to raise the profile of Boccia across the country.Events and activities will be happening all over England. Some of the events planned include a school boccia competition in Lincolnshire for 30 teams, a stroke association taster session in Sunderland and a come and try festival in Kent.

Chair of Boccia England Mike Walker said: ‘Boccia is a great sport which everyone can get involved in through coaching, officiating or indeed playing. Following the success of the World Championships in Liverpool, we at Boccia England are looking forward to using National Boccia Day to celebrate our sport and continue to raise the profile throughout the country’.

Boccia athlete and multi Paralympic medal winner David Smith said'I think this is a truly great way to get more people involved in this awesome sport, and I hope that National Boccia Day inspires Paralympians of the future’.

Boccia UK: Operations Manager

Boccia UK are looking to recruit a highly driven and efficient individual who has a passion to support the Boccia World Class Programme to success in Tokyo and beyond.

Boccia UK is responsible for High Performance Boccia within the UK, hosting the UK Sport funded World Class Programme and supporting athletes to achieve their potential at the highest level of Paralympic sport.

Role:
The purpose of the role is to drive and support the day-to-day operational needs of Boccia UK, this will include tasks such as training camp and competition planning and administration, international competition entries, logistics and financial administration and reporting of World Class Programme budgets. The role will also include building and maintaining relationships with home country and international governing bodies and various stakeholders. The individual will provide secretariat support to the Board and wider committees and will hold the position of company secretary.

Closing date: 5pm, Friday 12 October 2018

Interviews: Friday 19 October 2018

For more details, job description and person specification click here

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Recruiting a Board Vice-Chair

We are looking to recruit an Independent Vice-Chair to help lead the Board and ensure the highest standards of governance, and that activities are conducted in accordance with our purpose and values.

Key responsibilities will include:

  1. Provide effective leadership to the organisation, including representing the organisation and understanding the views of members,

  2. Lead the oversight and delivery of the vision, strategy, values and policies of Boccia England, in collaboration with the Chair, CEO and Board members,

  3. Guide the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities concerning statutory and regulatory compliance, contractual and commercial obligations and the good governance of Boccia England,

4.Deputise for the Chair in his absence.

There are circa 5 meetings per year, consisting of four Board meetings and a Board Development Day. Meetings are a mixture of virtual and face-face.

The position carries a four-year term with eligibility for a further term if desired by both parties. Time commitment will be in the region of 1-2 days a month.

The Vice-Chair will act as an ambassador for the organisation, providing strategic oversight. Candidates for the role should have leadership experience, with an understanding of Board management and an interest in, or a passion for sport. There is also a requirement for good business and commercial skills and an understanding of good governance.

Above all, we want to hear from people who are able to make a positive contribution to the development of our sport. We positively welcome applications from people from diverse backgrounds and with disabilities.

If you think you have the suitable skills and attributes for this role then we would like to hear from you.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your relevant knowledge and experience, and what you could bring to our Board to:

office@bocciaengland.org.uk or

Head of Business Support, Boccia England, 8 Heathcoat Buildings, Nottingham Science Park, Nottingham, NG7 2QJ.

Closing date: 22 October 2018

2018-19 Boccia England Membership

Please do not purchase membership for 2018-19 from your current online account. You should have received a email from us with information regarding changes to our membership system. We will update you very soon with more details.

Please contact Anne-Marie at office@bocciaengland.org.uk if you have any questions regarding the above or would like any further information. Thank you

THANK YOU to our BOCCIA HEROES

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to our BOCCIA HEROES – a team of almost 100 volunteers – who were an enormous credit to the sport and Boccia England at the BISFED 2018 World Boccia Championships. The event would not have been the success it was without all of them!

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Time Keepers, Event Volunteers, and Ceremony Volunteers

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National Technical Officials

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International Technical Officials

The team of new and existing volunteers, managed and supported by Boccia England’s Volunteer Manager, Natalie Braisby, was made up of; 26 National Technical Officials, 27 Time Keepers, 21 Event Volunteers, and 15 Ceremony Volunteers. They did an amazing job and were involved in a range of roles including; lining and timing the matches, managing the call room, warm up courts, info desk, sweeping the courts, opening and closing ceremonies, medal ceremonies, supporting delivery on the legacy court, and may more!

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We are pleased the volunteers enjoyed their time at the Championships, with feedback including the following:

Lauren Kianchehr:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience so thanks for having me as part of the NTO team. I’ve learnt so much and it’s given me another confidence boost going forward."

Adam Faulkner:
"Thank you for having me, I really enjoyed my time. I will definitely look at volunteering again in the future. Thank you for making me feel welcome."

Carla Woods:
"I cannot thank you and your team enough for enabling me to be a part of the most amazing event. It was a privilege and unforgettable time of my life."